Almanac Racing – A Super Saturday of reckoning

The relative merits of Sydney and Melbourne’s exciting cards stirs debate. Despite the “Super Saturday” marketing, I’d thought that Rosehill’s “Coolmore Day” offerings had surpassed it in recent years. Greed, however, has added two BM85s to fatten a 9 race card and, on balance, I reckon Flemington’s top-end offerings hold sway.

That’s where I’ll be, manning my post on the Rails and hoping for a “split”. If you’re coming down or switching on to, you’ll need to be in position for Races 4-7.

The Blamey (MR4, 1600m, SWP, G2) is run at 2.30pm. Formerly a “Champions’ Race”, changing conditions and calendars have impacted in the last 20 years, but it still takes a good Flemington horse to win. Stratum Star (2) is a really consistent G2+3 performer so is logically at the head of markets. He’s one of 4 Weiry runners – the D.K. stable is churning out winners but that doesn’t mean they’re all firing. He had the winner and the tailed-off 2 in the Guineas last week! Trust In A Gust doesn’t seem to be sharp this prep so I’d risk him. The United States is probably the safest bet at about 4/1.

It’s remarkable that the decision-makers have left The Kewney (MR5, 1400m, 3yoF, SW, G2) out of the Quaddy, as it is a race of many chances and possibilities. Only the terrible gate (13) stops me from picking Pasadena Girl (1), though analyst will argue she’s a “get back” anyway – but the 7f chute at HQ can be brutal for anything trapped wide, especially if the leaders can “sit up”. Punters will try a few at odds here. Might be a result race. Certainly one for trifectas.

The Newmarket (MR6, 1200m, H’cp, G1) is compulsory viewing. No longer a capacity field with featherweight “dark horses”, it is nevertheless an Autumn highlight. The likely scenario’s that Chautauqua (1) spots Japonisme (6) a start at the clocktower and the big Q? is “What happens next?”. I’m tipping and hoping for another brilliant, barnstorming, heart-stopping blousing.

Whilst not a vintage edition, there are still good horses and plenty of chances in the Australian Cup (MR7, 2000m, WFA, G1). Preferment rates on top, with undeniable form at T+D. It’s my “lock”. Our Ivanhowe was an eye-catcher at The Heath and there’ll be support for others, including the likely fav, Bow Creek, as well as Suavito and Fenway.

The betting ring TV will distract me all day as I try to keep abreast of the Rosehill action without missing the local betting action. Those regrettable BMs notwithstanding, there’s much to look forward to up there.

Here’s a scattergun overview:-

Good horses are out early (12.20) for the G3 Sky High (SR1, 2000m, SWP) featuring Hartnell and several other contenders for the staying bounties. Moody’s sent up Pemberley, a massive class jump, and legs up B.Prebble. Be wary. The fav will get the easy sit but still seems poor value to me. I’ll probably fall in to Sir John Hawkwood (scr last week) E/W.

Cowshedend will need to advise if we back up again in the next, the Pago Pago (SR2, 1200m, 2yoC+G, SW, G2) on Mediterranean. Whilst not a slashing Slipper trial on debut, it was steady and there was some late money. Can’t afford to miss the kick though!

Calliope’s the conundrum in the 3rd (Magic Night, 1200m, 2yoF, SW, G2) after it’s relatively disappointing Diamond Prelude. Gai’s resurgent juvenile form (Kissandmakeup @Randwick) puts an asterisk back on her yard, so Prompt Response is the obvious “Watch”. Fittingly, the Club has chosen this race to commemorate Bede Murray who passed away during the week.

The banner G1 is the Coolmore Classic (SR7, 1500m, F+M, Quality) to be run at 4.10pm. Unbeaten Ghisoni is all the rage, having won her Mdn/BM73 first prep and then resuming at 5/4 in a G2 @Randwick. That’s a filly on the rise. She’s up against some tough mares  – Solicit, Peeping, the wonderful Lucia Valentina, Politeness, enigmatic Azkadellia – some of which prefer to get back and might battle if the pattern’s unsuitable. We’ll see a bona fide star born or a premature bubble burst.

It’s that time of year – big reputations and expectations are tested. Some survive. Others wilt.

As always, though, there’s plenty of other offerings for those unable or unwilling to get to the big metrop meetings.

Victoria and NSW have iconic picnic days scheduled for Saturday.

Up in the High Country, Hinnomunjie race on, as they have since 1867 (

And just out of Crookwell, on the Funny Hill track at Binda, a tradition begun in 1848 continues (

In SA, Penong is a tiny town almost an hour west of Ceduna (near famed Cactus surf beach), yet they still manage to host an annual meeting as well as accompanying fashion and festivities…for locals, surfers and grey nomads.

If the weekend’s offerings aren’t enough, tune in from March15 for the famed Cheltenham Festival. This meeting appears to be getting bigger by the year and is entrenched with Jumps enthusiasts. The coverage is superb and more recent visitors tell me that the experience is fantastic. My sole day there was not a success – other than costing me a job, sleety snow delayed the start and my recall is of drunken Irish passed out in puddles before the first – and with Day 3 this year falling on St Pat’s Day I have horror visions! Any others made the trek?

Online coverage is extensive (

Looking forward to tips and discussion on these and other related issues.

Good luck!







  1. Somehow I deleted Kewney fancy. Reckoning that Badawayi has the marble and pattern to box seat and win. Want the 7/1 of early specs. 12 of the middle pinners and 11 of bolters. Suppose 5 must be in all tris.

  2. Think you’ve nailed the Australian Cup. Preferment the class horse there and loves HQ.

  3. Can anyone recommend a good therapist ( Elvis maybe) I backed Palentino when he lost on protest and had Tulsa got the protest last week, the quaddie would have been mine..I’m having some issues getting over this.
    I’ll keep trying.
    Aust Cup Preferment or Rising Romance, Ill back the latter.
    Newmarket I might go a bit left field and try Counterattack, similar form to Japonisme but better odds and 2.5 Kg’s.
    Blamey: Stratum Star looks the goods and Entirely Platinum may get an easy run in front
    Get out: Jessie Belle

  4. Corowa Cup on Sunday. We’ll catch up with family friends and have a good reminisce in the members.

    I know Brian Cox has two nominated runners in the Cup, as well as runners at Towong on Saturday, but unsure if he’ll be there. RV stewards visited his stables the other day, apparently finding items they shouldn’t. Hmmm. Brian then took a turn, being rushed off to hospital by ambulance. For a high profile trainer, it seems he has some hard questions to answer.


  5. I think calling Brian Cox a high profile trainer in stretching it a bit Glen!
    I guess he’s high profile in Wodonga.
    Kenn Array not hopeless in the Newmarket. Well weighted to Japonisme who is 2nd fave. Do like Preferment in the Cup, Stratum Star in the Blamey and don’t mind Black Vanquish in the 3rd.

  6. Awesome Rock best roughie in Aust Cup. Amazing run last start.

  7. Enjoy the day Glen. Perfect venue for your reminiscences. Cox has big questions to answer. What a shame.

  8. Tommy jnr spruiking Vanquish?
    Still in 2 minds re Newmarket. Is the fav evens?
    If so, the conundrum is straightforward….is he more likely to win than not? On balance, I lean towards Yes

  9. No haven’t heard from TH but know he’s got a spruik on it. Yes hard to tip against the fave in the sprint but it’s our duty to find one that might be able to knock him off. We’re punters not tipsters.

  10. Ta Crio.

    Budgie, Cox is a high profile trainer in Northern Victoria and Southern New South Wales. He also produces a fair few winners in town.

    Correct he’s not high profile like a Moody or a Waller, but for the provincial meetings he is a high profile trainer with over a 1,000 winners trained.


  11. two key scratchings SR1

  12. Cowshedend says

    Crio,Mediterranean was ok last start, but in what was a slowly run race, missing the kick and then grabbing hold, was never a chance, entered for Sires and Slipper, couldn’t see it going to the slipper even if it wins on a 7 day back up.
    Horse that ran 4th in that race Telperion, was enormous, but green as grass.
    Was given excellent mail a thing in Ascot(talk about chasing!) All Gee r6

  13. Peter Flynn says



    Rock Sturdy

  14. Besuited D.Downer on course. Bookies nervous

  15. What’s the best corporate bookie that pays out on protests? I need to open an account…would have won twice in the one race!

  16. Skip of Skipton says

    Biggest crock of shit UPHELD protest I have ever seen. And in a group 1 race to boot. The word ‘Corruption’ springs to mind.

  17. Budge, I thought almost all of them paid out on upheld protest. Who were you betting with?

  18. Consecutive races at Flemington where first past the post didn’t get the prize. Unprecedented?
    Haven’t seen it but most around me expected upheld

  19. Higgo I’m on betfair. Any alternative recommendations welcomed.
    And yes Crio, I expected upheld. Seems the rules have changed in Melbourne these days. You used to have to get poleaxed to get a protest….

  20. OH+S/duty of care….Labour Day!
    Other points – how was Trust in a Gust not 10/1?
    Also, whilst on Weiry, another sensational scam for Adelaide Cup. Oldie but a goodie

  21. I backed first over post in Aust Cup with Crownbet and got paid. Thankfully never had to sweat the protest result, just bet on.
    Not sure of rules with others….I think Ladbrokes payout as well.

  22. It makes sense that betfair can’t because you’re betting with another person, not a bookie.

  23. Peter Flynn says


  24. Well B Cox did well at Towong. Four runners including two winners and a second. I had a nice collect on his Matilda Bird in the fifth. He followed this with Toolangi winning the Cup in the next. Can he repeat this form today @ Corowa? We’ll know later today.


  25. Glen, from what I could see B Cox only had the 2 runners and quinellaed the Cup. Good result I assume? Backable odds too!

  26. Well done to Giddyup for its win at Money Valley today. Heavily backed and, no doubt, heavily celebrated.
    Also, congrats to “Smiling” Stevie Baster for his Adelaide Cup triumph just days after the disappointment of losing the G1 Australian Cup on contentious protest.
    Racing, as we’ve said, has huge highs and shattering lows.

  27. Anyone get to Adelaide Cup today? wondering about the vibe. Seems to be really struggling.
    also, I’ve heard some criticisms re crowd at Flemington on Saturday. These people should get down there more regularly1 Seemed to be a big Members’ turnout. VRC don’t give a toss about the general public and thus it is pretty empty.

  28. I’m currently in Adelaide crio and did plan to go to races but ended up at a luncheon in a pub instead. A mate of mine was there and said that it was really crowded in some areas (booked out) but other areas were empty. He said the “old bookies area” whatever that is was completely empty but trackside was packed.
    Only had 1 bet all day, found Runway Star at $3.50, the rest of the day was consumed by alcohol and oysters.
    Great place Adelaide, some fantastic eateries and pubs.

  29. Well the name Brian Cox continues resonating in my circles. He took two runners to Corowa on Sunday, both to run in the Cup. Jake Duffy rode Baby Jack to a win , with Bringebrong shortly behind giving Brian Cox a Cup quinella. This followed his victory in the Towong Cup the day prior, with Toolagi winning. Brian has claimed the Labour Day weekend, Towong Cup – Corowa Cup double a few times now.

    Yet Brian was a man of few words on Sunday, refusing to talk with any media outlets, electronic or print. He waived them away studiously avoiding any comments. The RVL stewards investigation seems intriguing.
    It would be remiss not mentioning Jake Duffy rode a doubles. Brooke Sweeney did the same riding winners for her father in R’s 2 & 3, as well as riding the second in the Cup.

    Some big races in rural NSW the next few days. The Albury gold Cup tow days on Thursday and Friday, Ardlethan and Berrigan on Saturday. If you want to be really adventurous, there the Broken hill Cup on Saturday.

    Happy Punting,


  30. Ahh, the St Pat’s Broken Hill meeting – there’s a story for another day of how we nearly took the mighty Allez Bien up there for a soft kill in the Improvers. Another for the misfortune file.

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